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Organizing for OA: New Business Models for Collective Action

This webcast was recorded live on December 9, 2020.

Description: As open access has gained momentum and discussions surrounding open research have accelerated in the wake of the pandemic, conversations about business models have become more nuanced and complex. Much of the focus on cost versus value over the course of the last 20 years has been on the resources that consume the largest portion of collections budgets: STEM journals from large commercial publishers that are packaged in big deals. New models for OA academic books have emerged, offering a diversity of approaches at a small scale. Crowdsourcing models, like Knowledge Unlatched, have been supported on the library side. TOME (Towards and Open Monographs Ecosystem) has helped authors in the humanities and social sciences find pathways to publish their first books open access at participating university presses. Presses and libraries have also created funds, from collections budgets or OA fundraising, to support expanded OA publishing. So far, none of these models comprehensively solves the central problem for the monograph: that market-based models no longer support their publication, while studies continue to show that the long-form book remains at the center of scholarship in many disciplines. Subscribe to Open (S2O) has emerged as an alternate pathway for OA journals that does not rely on transformative agreements or APCs, but what could collective action for OA monographs look like? How could university presses, in particular, come together with libraries to identify and pursue ways to truly support mission driven publishing for valuable scholarship that works around a standard market driven model? Is this time of crisis the moment for collaboration to propel change?


  • Emily Farrell, Library Partnerships and Sales Lead, The MIT Press
  • Alison Bradley, Director, Strategic Initiatives, PALCI
  • Raym Crow, Owner, Chainbridge Group
  • Peter Potter, Publishing Director, University Libraries at Virginia Tech

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